Vermont’s Fuse Lit

On March 28th, we published a post called Look A New Fiefdom about Omnicom’s foray into sports and entertainment marketing. I podered how Fuse Marketing of Burlington, VT–a top 20 sports marketing agency according to Sports Business Journal–would take the news, given Omnicom’s new name for the unit is Fuse Sports & Entertainment Group.
Here’s the answer: they’re preparing for a fierce battle.
Bill Carter, a partner at the Vermont shop says, “We find it terribly disappointing that Omnicom, one of the largest corporate media services conglomerate with $11 billion in sales, would compound their original problem of using our name by now attempting to outspend us in legal fees until we give up our ownership of our name.”
“Agencies across the country – especially other small independents – can understand that our position is that we will never allow Omnicom to use our name, no matter what the cost, and no matter how long this takes; we will defend ourselves from them as if our professional lives are at stake, because in fact they are.”
Ad Age points out that Fuse has thus far not sought similar litigation against a full-service agency called Fuse in St. Louis, Mo., or Fuse Interactive in Laguna Beach, Calif. But those shops are not sports marketing outfits.
[UPDATE] According to Bill Carter, Fuse has a licensing agreement with Fuse Advertising in St. Louis, allowing that entity to use the name. With regards to Fuse Interactive, Carter says there has been no marketplace confusion, therefore no such arrangement has been needed.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.